Aggies' conference guide: SEC East

July, 24, 2012
7/24/12
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Florida Gator Fans - IndexDoug Benc/Getty ImagesThe Aggies host Florida in the SEC opener on Sept. 8. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Texas A&M opens SEC play Sept. 8. The Aggies will only meet Florida as its SEC East competition this season. Earlier we gave a guide to the West Division, here is a quick look at each team in the East Division.

Note: Since Missouri is a previous Big 12 opponent, and familiar with Aggies fans, the Tigers are not included.

SEC East

Florida
Nickname: Gators
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Founded: 1906
Enrollment: 49,827
Football record: 669-385-40 (.611)
SEC championships: 8
Claimed national championships: 3

You should know: From 1990-2009, Florida’s home record was 113-13 (.894) the best in the country during that span. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is often referred to as “The Swamp.”

Did you know? The Gators’ annual rivalry game with Georgia is played in Jacksonville and was often called the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” The name was coined by Florida Times-Union sports editor Bill Kastelz in the 1950s but the school’s presidents and the SEC asked in 2006 that it no longer be referred to by that moniker.

Georgia
Nickname: Bulldogs
Location: Athens, Ga.
Founded: 1785
Enrollment: 34,816
Football record: 747-400-54 (.646)
SEC championships: 12
Claimed national championships: 5

You should know: “How ‘bout them Dawgs!” -- This phrase became popularized in the late 1970s and 1980, when the Bulldogs won a national championship and it was used as a newspaper headline.

Did you know? The phrase “Between the Hedges” is believed to have been coined by late Atlanta sportswriter Grantland Rice. The privet hedges that surround the field at Georgia’s Sanford Stadium are a more-than-80-year tradition and they are monitored by a surveillance and alarm system.
Kentucky
Nickname: Wildcats
Location: Lexington, Ky.
Founded: 1865
Enrollment: 28,098
Football record: 573-565-44 (.484)
SEC championships: 1
Claimed national championships: 1

You should know: Paul “Bear” Bryant is the most successful coach in Kentucky history, posting a record of 60-23-5 (.710) from 1946-53. His 60 wins are the most by any coach in Wildcats’ history.

Did you know? Kentucky was the first Southeastern Conference team to introduce football, doing so in 1881.

South Carolina
Nickname: Gamecocks
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Founded: 1805
Enrollment: 30,271
Football record: 554-543-44 (.485)
SEC championships: 0
Claimed national championships: 0

You should know: The Gamecocks’ no. 9 ranking in the Associated Press poll to finish the 2011 season was the highest ranking South Carolina has finished a season with in its history.

Did you know? Outside of Williams-Brice Stadium is a line of 22 cabooses on a railroad track known as the “Cockaboose Railroad.” The cars began hosting tailgaters in 1990 and have televisions, a living room, air conditioning, running water and heating. Some even have closed-circuit televisions for fans to watch South Carolina away games.

Tennessee
Nickname: Volunteers
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Founded: 1794
Enrollment: 27,523
Football record: 794-347-53 (.687)
SEC championships: 13
Claimed national championships: 6

You should know: Neyland Stadium, the Volunteers’ home, is the fourth-largest stadium in the nation and the largest in the SEC in terms of capacity (102,455).

Did you know? Tennessee’s checkerboard end zones were first conceived by former Tennessee football coach and athletic director Doug Dickey in 1964. He got the idea from seeing the design in a magazine and used it to add color to the stadium. The checkerboards were gone from 1968-1989 but returned when new artificial turf was installed.

Vanderbilt
Nickname: Commodores
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Founded: 1873
Enrollment: 6,817
Football record: 563-575-50 (.492)
SEC championships: 0
Claimed national championships: 0

You should know: Vanderbilt was no. 1 in the SEC in graduation success rates released by the NCAA in June.

Did you know? A naval horn called “The Admiral” sits on top of the press box at Vanderbilt Stadium. It sounds when the Commodores take the field, after scores and before the game to remind fans of upcoming pre-game activities.

Sam Khan | email

Texas A&M/SEC reporter

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